road trip camping packing list

The Complete Road Trip Camping Packing List [With Printable Checklist]

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Camping on road trips is incredible. But with all the extra gear you need, packing can seem like a daunting task!

I’ve created the complete road trip camping packing list so you can be certain you have all the gear you need before setting off on your adventure.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be too complicated.

As someone who has spent a lot of time camping and road-tripping in Canada, I know a thing or two.

This guide has full details of all the camping road trip essentials needed to make your trip a special one. There is sleeping gear, kitchen equipment and of course, camping clothes!

Use this article as a camping gear checklist on the day of departure so that you don’t forget anything!

Road Trip Camping Essentials

Road Trip Camping Essentials

So, you’re taking a road trip and planning to camp. Not only do you have to pack all the regular road trip essentials, but you need to think about camping specific items too. 

To make the process easier, I have created 4 basic steps for using this guide.

3 Simple Steps

  • Refer to our Complete Road Trip Packing List.
  • Read through this Road Trip Camping Packing List which tells you exactly what to pack, specifically for a road trip with camping (on top of the core essentials list).
  • Pack everything using this article as your camping checklist

You may need to return to this guide again to make sure you have all your road trip camping essentials.

For this reason, I suggest bookmarking it so you can refer back at any time.

Camping Sleeping Gear

Camping Gear Checklist

Pop-up tents are the best as they are so quick and easy to put up and take down. However, if you need more of a canvas palace as you have a larger group, go for a more traditional style.

Practice setting up your tent before you go so you can quickly set it up properly in any situation. You don’t want to figure this out at night in a storm!

Just because you are camping doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable! A good airbed will make a world of difference to a comfortable night’s sleep.

  • Inflatable pillow

Again – don’t sacrifice on comfort and your trip will be much more enjoyable. Fortunately, sleeping bags like the following have them included.

Check the rating of your sleeping bag. They tend to have a ‘comfort’ temperature range and an extreme temperature limit. For the best night’s sleep, make sure your sleeping bag’s comfort range matches the nightly temperatures for your destination.

  • Eye mask

It can be light early when sleeping in a tent. An eye mask can ensure you get a good nights sleep even if the sun comes up very early in the morning.

Camping Kitchen Gear List

Camping Gear List
Camping Camping G
  • Portable set of cooking gear

I prefer to have a set that packs away nice and easy and has everything I need in one place. That way it takes up less space and ensures you don’t forget anything. A set typically contains: 1 pot, 1 frying pan, 1 kettle, 4 plastic bowls, 4 cutlery sets, 1 spatula, 1 cleaning towel, 1 net bag for storage

  • Coffee Percolator

One of my favorite things on this packing list. If you enjoy a coffee in the morning as much as I do, you’ll appreciate this being here. Gas cooker + Coffee Percolator = road trip coffee made easy

  • Cooler Box
  • Gas Camp Stove
  • Spare Gas Bottles
  • Steripen or Sterilizing Drops

These allow you to drink water from natural resources without worrying about sanitation

  • Tin Opener
  • Chopping Board
  • Sharp Knife
  • Corkscrew
  • Bottle Opener
  • Picnic Blanket
  • Large Water Container

Water containers are great for storing drinking water and to save you from having to keep buying plastic bottles of water. It is a much more eco-friendly way to travel. You might also appreciate them in the case of an emergency.

  • Travel Mug

For your coffee from that coffee perculator!

  • Reusable Water Bottle

Reusable options are always the best options – they help save the planet and they are actually more cost-effective in the long-run. Surely you want to save money on your road trip?

  • Dishwashing Kit

Include: collapsible washing up bucket, biodegradable dish soap, small sponge, quick-drying dishtowels.

  • Tupperware Boxes 

For packing up meals and snacks.

  • Garbage bags

Camping Food List

In terms of a food packing list, your road trip needs a separate one. Check out these helpful articles: 

Best road trip food ideas

Top Tip:

Dehydrated meals can be an excellent camping option. They’re easy to prepare and don’t take up much space. 

Camping Necessities

Camping Road Trip Packing List

This section has a variety of items which you can use to make the campsite more comfortable and to set you up for an excellent evening.

Some light-weight, portable camping chairs are an excellent way to stay comfortable around a fire!

A small and easy-to-carry table is essential camping gear for any road trip participant. Put your beers or morning coffee on it whilst you enjoy the views!

What better way to spend an afternoon than chilling in a hammock and reading a great book?

For your camping kitchen area or to install as extra rain protection for your tent

Try putting up a tent at night without one.. makes for an interesting evening!

  • Fire starting equipment

Hatchet, firewood, fire starters, matches – be sure to research whether fires are ok where you’re traveling and remember to stay safe when making a fire!


  • Gas fire pit

A great alternative to building your own fire which can come with complications and only requires a…

  • Gas Bottle
How to safely build a fire

To create a camp laundry line.

Camping Clothes

Hiking gear in a road trip packing list

There is a full packing list of clothes for your road trip in our Complete Road Trip Packing List. However, you may want to substitute/ certain items for those below depending on the season and your destination.

When packing clothes for camping, there are 2 principals I like to follow:

  1. Prepare for all weather types
  2. Layering is key

Layering is key

Not only does layering keep you warm, but it also helps to regulate your temperature. It also keeps your body protected from wind and moisture. Both of these are important in Winter conditions.

A guide on layering whilst camping

The Camping Clothing Packing List

This part of the packing list is totally customizable.

Bottom line?

The key is to adjust your clothes packing list depending on what you plan to do.

General Clothing Items For Camping

Flip Flops | Waterproof Boots/Shoes | Baselayer thermals | Midlayer Jacket (down or synthetic) | Waterproof Jacket (Shell) | Waterproof Pants (Shell) | Beanie | Thick Socks | Fleece/Warm Hoody

Hiking Gear

Hiking Boots | Baselayers | Midlayer Jacket (down or synthetic) | Waterproof Jacket (Shell) | Waterproof Pants (Shell) | Lightweight Waterproof Gloves | Beanie | Hiking Socks |Backpack

Camping-Specific Healthcare

A full list of road trip healthcare essentials can be found in our complete road trip packing list, but when camping be sure to include the following:

Baby wipes serve as a shower when in a pinch and they’re perfect for toilet roll (or lack thereof) emergencies.

Packing For Your Camping Road Trip

Congrats! You’re at the packing stage.

It’s now time to load up the bags and pack the car with all those camping essentials.

Use this article as your extensive packing list and get everything ready to go.

Camping Checklist (Leaving Day)

Camping Checklist

This simple pdf checklist will make sure you haven’t missed anything vital and put your mind at ease.

For a printable version of our ‘Leaving Day’ checklist click here.

Now it’s your turn.

Was this road trip camping packing list helpful?

Is there anything else you would recommend that you really like to take camping?

Leave a comment below and let us know!

A final word…

These packing lists took a LONG time to compile and create. If you find them useful and you want to support the site, you can use the links included to purchase anything you might need. Not only is this a convenient way to get your road trip shopping done, but we might earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

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